Top Mustang Mods Guide

Top Mustang Mods Guide

Last Updated June 8, 2021 | C.J. Tragakis

The Mustang has served as America’s pony car for over half a century. No matter which model year you have, it can be fixed up, upgraded, and customized with quality aftermarket parts. Although there’s nothing wrong with leaving it in stock form, we think adding your own touch is what makes being an enthusiast so much fun.

Because every Mustang is so different, we've broken up the top Mustang mods by generation. Check out our best guides to learn about different upgrades and get started on your next project.

Classic Mustang (1964.5-1973)

Classic Mustang Data Plate Decoder

Classic Mustang owners know firsthand what an undertaking (and joy) it can be to work on one of these vintage models. Getting your Mustang’s body into good shape is going to be a natural part of any car project. Go for a period-correct restoration, or add some restomod parts for custom style, more power, and modern-day conveniences.

Apart from the body, working on the engine is one of the primary focuses for first-gen Mustang owners. You can keep one of the original engines under the hood, or do a crate swap for a more modern motor.

The aging suspension is another area to upgrade with modern components. If you’re trying to keep the style and parts as original as possible, take a look at our first-gen Mustang data plate decoder. By entering your car’s information, you can take a look at what you’ll need for your project. This will help you determine things like your original paint color, trim, engine, and rear axle ratio.

Fox Body (1979-1993)

Fox Body Mustang Mod Guide

With a flexible platform, the affordable Fox Body is great for daily driving, autocross, or drag racing.

Its older components can easily be upgraded and modified. Consider adding coilovers, shocks, struts, sway bars, and even subframe connectors. All will help tighten up your Fox and give it much sportier handling.

For power, a cold air intake combined with an exhaust system will help your engine breathe better. Swapping in a set of disc brakes will give you more confidence in your stopping power, plus improved cornering.

Due to the age of the Fox Body, interior upgrades are probably also on your list. You can replace your worn-out seats with aftermarket sports seats. They’re more comfortable and will hold you in place better through turns. It’s also easy to replace things like the headliner and center console, which naturally tend to wear over time.

Check out our best Fox Body mods for inspiration on getting yours modernized with new performance and style. If you’re set on using it as a drift car, take a look at our Fox Body drift build guide.

SN95 and New Edge (1994-2004)

The 1994-2004 Mustang brought a good amount of power to the table with its various engines and versatile platform. Depending on the mods you add, you can use the SN95 as a drift car, drag car, autocrosser, or just a fun daily driver. However, to keep up with modern vehicles, you’ll need to make some changes under the hood.

1994-1998 SN95 Mods

Early SN95 Mustang Mod Guide

The launch of the SN95 generation meant a change in how the car was styled, but the performance levels didn’t go leaps and bounds beyond the Fox Body.

We recommend a cold air intake, tune, and cat-back exhaust as bolt-on upgrades. Though the suspension was improved from the Fox Body, the SN95 can still benefit from coilovers, sway bars, and subframe connectors. A short-throw shifter and new steering wheel will help round out the interior.

Check out our 1994-1998 SN95 mod guide for upgrades for this model range.

New Edge Mods

New Edge Mustang Mod Guide

In 1999, the SN95 was refreshed with Ford’s “New Edge” styling. Things were also tweaked under the hood for a bit more power, even though the engines remained the same. From unleashing more power to refreshing the interior, there’s a lot that can be done to revitalize these cars.

Take a look at the best mods for the New Edge Mustang to upgrade your performance and aesthetics.

S197 (2005-2014)

The affordability of the S197 makes it a great contender for a variety of different mods. If you want to enhance your 2005-2014 Mustang, check out our guide on getting S550 power out of your S197. When it comes to style, giving your S197 a set of aftermarket wheels will make the biggest impact. Pair them with performance tires and lowering springs for improved handling.

Under the hood, a cold air intake and tune will open up a lot more power. This is especially true when you add a cat-back exhaust to the mix. If you’re looking for a big project that will completely transform your car, a supercharger is the way to go. It will increase your power immensely to help you perform on the dragstrip or track.

2005-2010 Mustang Mods

Early S197 Mustang Mod Guide

Although the Coyote V8 made a big splash when it launched in the refreshed 2011 S197, the motors used from 2005-2010 shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re powerful and reliable, with plenty of untapped power that can be unleashed with a few aftermarket mods.

Take a look at our 2005-2010 Mustang mod guide for some ideas on improving your pony. Pair your engine upgrades with a new exhaust kit for a Mustang that sounds as good as it looks, and goes as fast as it sounds. This is one area where the 2005-2010 3-valve V8 shines, as many owners think it has a nicer old-school sound than the Coyote.

2011-2014 Mustang Mods

Late S197 Mustang Mod Guide

The debut of the Coyote motor was an exciting change, and the platform has proven to be reliable and endlessly moddable. Cold air intakes, tunes, and cat-back exhausts are very popular choices for both the 5.0 and V6.

To start building your late S197 wishlist, check out our 2011-2014 Mustang mod guide. With the right power upgrades and a few suspension components, these cars can be brought up to the level of the newest Mustangs.

S550 (2015-Present)

S550 Mustang Mod Guide

Style comes down to personal preference. But when it comes to performance potential, nothing can top the S550. The modern design of the S550 means it has the most power waiting to be unleashed. Take a look at our top performance mods for the Coyote engine. Some owners even enjoy trying to get their GT to perform more like a GT350. With the right mods, you can get pretty close.

In addition to the engine, exhaust kits and style upgrades are some of the most popular options for 2015+ Mustangs. Even though the car sounds pretty good from the factory, most enthusiasts are happy to add more volume and better tone by installing a performance exhaust kit.

There are also thousands of ways to customize the style of the S550. From front chin spoilers to rear valances and wings, the exterior can be made to look even more sporty and sleek. For the easiest way to make a big style change, look into getting a set of aftermarket wheels.

If you’re not sure where to start, browse our top S550 Mustang mods for some inspiration.

Upgrading Your Mustang

To take a look at everything available for your car, you can also head straight to our Mustang parts page. Shop by brand, category, and model year to find exactly what you’re looking for. To stay in the loop with the latest deals and sales, sign up for our email newsletter.

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Sources: Ford

Top Mustang Mods Guide

From the original first-gen Mustang to the latest S550 model, the aftermarket has virtually infinite ways for you to customize your pony car. Restore your classic Mustang or get the latest style upgrades for your car. No matter what year you have, there are always ways to put more power under the hood.